This is the first of 87 letters exchanged during World War II between Nicholas Salvatore and Elizabeth Galloway.
For more see Nicholas and Elizabeth.


Tuesday, July 20, 1943

New York

Dear Elizabeth,

New York is a strange town. In some ways I feel more out of place here than I did in Texas, which I would never have imagined possible. I really have no idea why. Maybe it was the long train ride. I always thought I would love New York. Maybe it’s because you’re all I can think about. Was that really just a couple of days ago? It already seems in the distant past.

I had thought of writing you about the beauty of the world, contemplating the possibility of stepping into the specter of hell, Thomas Aquinas’ just war theory, Remarque’s notion of putting the world leaders in a boxing ring, and pages upon pages of other intangible notions, but, in the end, when I am finally able to sit and write, I‘m drunk and you’re all I can think about. All I can picture is the look on your face when you handed me your address. I get the feeling it’s not something you give out to many people – am I wrong?

Thanks again for spending my last night with me. I’ve often wondered if my romantic ideals of life were just the stuff of fiction, but it seems as though you may believe in the same sorts of things – I’ve never met anyone who does. And even if I’m dead wrong, you’ve at least shown me that there is a possibility that more words can be shared in silence than in 1,000 conversations.

If I have already said too much, ignore it. We can talk of the weather or anything you want. I’m aware I know next to nothing about you, but in a way it’s as if I already know everything I need to.

If I presume too much, and you only gave me your address because you knew you’d never see me again, I respect that. I’m grateful regardless.

Please write soon,


SN# 36600002 T43

P.S. – I just realized I never even told you my name. I hope you didn’t ignore this letter when you didn’t recognize the name. (But then I guess you wouldn’t be reading this then, would you?) What do you go by? I think Elizabeth is a beautiful name. My name is Nicholas Salvatore, but most people just call me Nick.

Next Letter – August 6, 1943